Last weekend my sister and I drove down to our parents’ house in Tennessee on a trip that was planned with less than twelve hours’ notice. For various reasons, I decided to bring Roxie along rather than board her as I normally would, and I was not looking forward to that part of the trip in the slightest. Roxie hasn’t been on a road trip since she was a puppy and, at ten and a half years old, she is set in her ways. She barks for the duration of every ride to the vet and every ride to Petsmart, both of which are less than ten minutes from my house.
I dreaded the idea of being stuck in a closed space with that dog for nearly ten hours, but bringing her was the right decision. My parents love her and I figured that my dad, who had just gone through a surgical procedure (everything’s fine), could probably use a canine pick-me-up.
Just like always, she surprised my sister and me. She barked for the first few minutes, but quieted down after a while. I was happy that I brought her massive bed and placed it across the back seat of my car (mainly to cover my leather seats but okay, to keep her comfortable, too) because she alternated pacing around and laying down. She may have even enjoyed herself?
This road trip was different from when Jim and I drive down there alone. On those trips these days we make a few stops, eating lunch or dinner casually while sitting IN the restaurant, and generally take our time getting there. This time, I was determined to stop only twice in each direction, for gas, food, and bathroom breaks for all three of us. Multi-tasking for the win!
Although I really don’t like when I take Roxie out in public and she barks her face off, I was happy to relax about it when I got her out on the leash on our stops. Better for her to pollute the outside with her noise than the inside of my car. I mean really. Here’s what that sounds like.
TURN YOUR VOLUME DOWN ALMOST ALL THE WAY BEFORE PRESSING PLAY. DO IT. DON’T SAY I DIDN’T WARN YOU.
She was positively adorable when she drank water right out of the bottle.
She kept resting her head on the center console, cramming her body sideways and perpendicular to the backseat and for hours I thought it was because she wanted to be closer to us. As it turns out, the air vent for the backseat is in the back of the console so who’s the smart one? Roxie is.
We had great technique for parts of the stops where we bought food to take on the road. I took Roxie out for a walk and for some water while Jules went to use the restroom and get her lunch. Then she came out to the car, I loaded Roxie into the backseat with one of her favorite bones, and—while she sat there guarding her bone and watching for me to come back—I went in for a restroom break and to buy my lunch. Upon my return, Roxie settled in and ate her “lunch” while we ate ours. No noise whatsoever.
Roxie completely surprised me, again. It was so much easier than I anticipated to travel with her and I thought I might be dreaming.
Of course, on the trip home she ruined almost all of the great feelings I had about traveling with her by barking non-stop for the last ten minutes, when we were tired and just ready to be home and out of the car. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. She always has to have the last word.